March 25, 2024

The Cup of God’s Wrath

R.C. Sproul
The Cup of God’s Wrath

On the cross, Jesus bore the wrath of the Father in place of His people. Today, R.C. Sproul calls every listener to take refuge in Christ by faith, lest we face the wrath of God ourselves.


After Jesus gave His new commandment on Maundy Thursday, He instituted the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper with His disciples. And when that was finished, they sang a hymn, and Jesus and His disciples went to the winepress, to Gethsemane. There, in His agony, Jesus confronted a vessel filled with that same wrath of God that had been stored up against the day of wrath, that vessel, that cup of wrath that the Father now set before the Son, saying, “Drink this cup for Your people.”

Jesus trembled before that vessel filled with divine wrath. This was no surprise to Him, but when the moment came, when His hour arrived, it was almost more than He could bear. And so, He begged the Father, with sweat coming from His brow in drops of blood as He wrestled with the Father saying: “Father, please let this cup pass from Me. Isn’t there any other way? Please, take it back. Nevertheless, not My will, but Yours be done.”

And in that hour of agony, such communication occurred between the Father and the Son that it was very clear to the Son that the Father’s answer to His prayer was: “No, You must take it. You must drink it.” And so, Jesus took the cup, not that moment in Gethsemane. But several hours later, on the tree outside of the city, He drank that cup of the wrath of God to its dregs.

One would think that with that experience of Christ having drunk the fullness of the wrath of God that there would be no wrath left. No, no, we would be deceiving ourselves. He drank the cup of wrath for all who put their trust in Him. He drank the cup of wrath for His own, for His sheep. But those who were on the outside, who rejected His atoning death, those who remained impenitent, those who sneered at the substitutionary death of Jesus were left to drink that cup themselves in seven installments.

There is no way to flee from the bowls of divine wrath except to the cross. Either Jesus drinks it for you, or you will taste it yourself.